Friday, October 29, 2010

Favorite Moments This Week...

Since it is Friday once again, I thought I would share some of my favorite moments of this week:

1. On Tuesday I bought my first candle of the season. I chose a Yankee Spiced Pumpkin candle and it smells really good. I've enjoyed it so far. Smelling candles and knowing that they are present in my home just does something wonderful for my soul. It is a good thing. Candles just make me feel cozy all over. I love that feeling.

2. Yesterday, as I was waiting outside for a ride to the dentist, I heard our preacher's adorable two-year-old daughter talking to her Mommy and baby brother while she played outside. I love watching and hearing children play. Listening to her precious voice was so much fun. She is one of the most precocious little ladies I've ever met! And she's spunky. I love her little personality. Everyone definitely knows when she comes into a room. Thank you Lord, for ES. She's a doll.

3. I shared my testimony yesterday. It was so good to see where the Lord has brought me in 28 years of life and 18 years of being His daughter. I love the power of sharing people's stories. One of my favorite things about sharing testimony is that satan loses power every time I do it. I think sharing testimony is an essential part of building community. Sharing life stories shows how desperately we need to journey with others. The power of testimony brings freedom. It brings joy. I'm so thankful I got to partake in that and that God opened a door of opportunity for be to brag on Him. It was fun.

4. I got to spend some great time with this favorite little Westie of mine. She brings me so much joy. Sophie, you are such a blessing in my life. I love her precious, spunky, I-will-not-be-ignored personality. She brings so much life into our family. She's such a great friend to me who is ALWAYS waiting to give me a great welcome home. Thank you, Lord for creating dogs.
Have a fabulous Friday friends!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday Night Football...

This is a picture my Mama took last Friday night at Grande Stadium in Midland. After it was captured on film, it fast became one of my all-time favorite pictures. This is a perfect way to describe what the Cunninghams are doing on any given Friday night in the Fall. Every member of my immediate family loves high school football. It is a perfect way to spend a Fall evening in West Texas. I also believe that the sunset in the picture is one of the most splendid ones I've ever seen. God is the most unmatched artist. I love His work! Thank you, Father for combining two of my loves: football and beautiful sunsets.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Snippet of Life...

I thought that today I would share with you readers a little bit of what I've been watching, reading, buying, and listening to. I have been excitedly watching the Texas Rangers dominate those Yankees. It has been so much fun to cheer on my favorite baseball team. Cliff Lee has fast become my favorite Rangers player. He was phenominal earlier in the week as he took the mound in New York. One of my other favorite things about the Texas/New York series has been the emty stands in Yankee Stadium. I'm hoping they can pull out a win in Game 4 this afternoon. My Rangers-obsessed brother, Grant, is a very happy and contented fan as well. Last night's game even produced something really funny to me. My Daddy was burning up his Facebook status and that NEVER happens. He was especially excited when Bengie Molina connected with the ball last night. Fun times have ensued as the Rangers have taken on the Yankees. I have started Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus and oh my goodness, it is superb so far. Even though I am only still on the first chapter, I am really looking forward to getting to know the Jewishness of Jesus. I have heard excellent things about this read. Have any of you read it? I'm going through it slowly so that Jesus can teach me at His pace. The Lord has placed within me a new passion to love the Jews, Israel, and the place of the Jewish people as God's most beloved and kindred people. I don't think there is a better place to start learning about the Jews than with Jesus himself as He lived in human form. It has been a great journey so far.

Recently, I've been revisiting a favorite music artist that I LOVE. Her name is Christy Nockels. She has a fabulous voice and I love her heart. She and her husband, Nathan used to be known as Watermark. If you haven't heard this CD go onto iTunes and check it out! You will love her just as much as I do, I promise. Have a great Wednesday

Friday, October 15, 2010

Favorite Things Friday...

Favorite Fallish Accessory

Today I thought I would share with you my favorite Fall accessory essential that holds a very very prominent place in my wardrobe during the season. As I've stated on this blog time and time again, Fall is my absolute favorite season of them all. I love the coziness of the season. I love that holidays are welcomed during the season. I love the changing leaves, little children in adorable costumes, the cooler weather, the wonderful (what I consider the rustic) smell of fires being lit in homes, the decorations, great quantities of candy corn, the fabulous colors that surround me, and so much more.

Yes, if you guessed SCARVES as my favorite fall-to-winter accessory you are entirely correct. I must make a confession to you all: My name is Lauren Cunningham and I am addicted to scarves. I have become a little obsessed. Oh my goodness, I feel so free after that little confession! :) Any time I walk into Target, Stein Mart, or any of my other favorite stores, I head staight for the scarves. I know its a sickness. I have found that a scarf worn any time brings just the right finishing touch of class to an outfit. Honestly, I've had to pace myself and mentally say, "Lauren, its 80 degrees outside and wearing a scarf in 80-degree weather is nuts!" I think I'll wait until late October early November to break out my favorite accessory.

This is a bi-annual women's consignment sale held every Spring and Fall in downtown Abilene in the old Jordan Taylor space. It is run by two sisters, Summer Walters and Kate Stover who are two of my favorite people. I absolutely adore it. Summer and Kate make it so cozy and fun to come and browse. It is made possible by tons of wonderful volunteers and I love going around and hugging all the ones I know and love. If you are in Abilene between October 16-20 go! It is fabulous. You can visit at my sidebar to find out more.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thoughts on Writing and Community...

I am most definitely a writer. I believe that being a writer is someone God created me to be. I am ALWAYS scribbling down thoughts or great quotes. I also always have a tiny journal and pen in my purse. I honestly love it. I believe that writing and worship are two outlets that the Lord placed on this earth just for me. Words stir something deep in me. Music also speaks to the deepest core of who I am. I am immensely grateful for them both. However, sometimes, I cannot find just the right words to convey a certain thought or emotion that I yearn to put onto paper. My brain is always scheming about how best to articulate a thought or feeling or experiece that I want to share. I realize that not everything that comes into my mind or spirit needs to be written down. Some of the things I think or feel are meant for God and I alone, and I like that. The thing I like most about writing is that most of the time, in my case, God uses what I think and what I write to bless others. One of my dreams is to write a book someday to have in Christian bookstores. I don't think I've shared that publicly before. I feel like the Lord has released into me a new portion and level of passion into the things I yern to write about and that excites me so very much. I love the fact that not everyone has to agree with what I wite and how I feel and I really relish the outlet that writing is in my life. I pray that whatever I write honors and glorifies the Lord because everything that the Lord has created and is creating exists to bring Him glory and pleasure. I pray that that can be said of the things I write. The fact of the matter is my writing belongs to Him.

I think community is so very important. In my opinion, it is essential in the life of any serious Jesus-follower. God seems to be gently pouring this over my life right now. Community is vital for so many reasons. One thing that I have learned is that building authentic community takes time. It is not something that can take place over night or within a few days or weeks. I think it has to be born. I have to say, I am very serious about the community that surrounds my life. I think it is really crucial that we know the people that surround, encourage, and walk with me in my journey. God has given me so many treasures through the people that reside in my community, This gift that God has given His people has a profound way of shaping us, if we allow it to. People with whom I share close community need to know that I will walk with them throughout every season. That is one way the glory of the Lord is seen. If I really want a person in my close community, I have found that it takes time in relationship in order for me to appreciate all of the facets of any certain person. I like to know how they think, the area of their giftedness, the degree of their passions and where those lie, and the degree of commitment to the Lord. For example, are they just Sunday pew-warmers or are they committed to allow Jesus to color every single aspect of who they are. What kinds of things do you look for in community. Through my time on the journey of Christian discipleship, I have learned how sacred and precious it is to be surrounded by committed and authentic community, I am a better person for it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Busy Little Bee...

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't seem to figure out where the month of September has gone. In my little corner of the world the month has flown by. I am a person who loves routine, and it may sound a little weird, but it always seems that my daily routines are solidified a little bit more in the fall and winter months than they tend to be in the summer. Don't ask me why that is because I really can't find an answer for you.

Last week, I got to attend the ACU Lectures or Summit as it is called now. Going to these lectures is good for my soul every year. I think this year was my favorite of recent years. Monday and Wednesday I attended a class that was taught by Beverly Ross. To say it was good would be a huge understatement. The class was a 3-part series on grief. I took away so much rich spiritual meat from this class. Sadly, I missed the second class session, but I'm very thankful I ordered the CDs to own forever. Even though I'm not personally in a season of grief right now, Beverly shared so much that can be used to help others who are in the midst of a season of grief. I, along with countless other people have been contending and interceding for the Ross family, so it was such a precious gift to me to finally officially meet and hug Beverly. I absolutely loved hearing from her heart. I think my very, very favorite things about her are her intensely authentic passion and hunger for Jesus and how authentically real she is. Hearing her heart has made her a hearoine of faith in the flesh for me. No wonder Josh (Beverly's son, and one of my all-time favorite preachers) is such a precious and Spirit-saturated man of God!

I was also very blessed to get to hear Josh keynote on Monday morning. It is always such a treat to hear Josh preach. I love his heart and the very intentional way he lives for God. After his lecture, I got to officially meet Kayci, and that too was a huge gift. In short I really admire the Ross family and I do have to say that God was so honored in and through them at Summit. I have been blown away by the way they have stubbornly chosen to cling to the Lord during this journey He has called them to walk. They truly are living epistles, and my life has been made better by watching how they have chosen to hold unswervingly to faith.

Summit is probably the most noteworthy thing I've done as of late, but my Fall is going to be busy, and that is totally OK with me! I'm very excited about what my Fall calendar looks like. Hope you have a blessed week.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Answered Prayers...

In late August, after a year and a half of searching, discerning, and praying, Highland welcomed Jonathan and Leslie Storment and their family to Abilene to lead, teach, and shepherd our church body. Jonathan has been preaching since August 22, 2010, and, in my humble opinion, Highland hasn't been the same. God, through Jonathan has breathed new life into us and for that I'm so thankful. Our weekly gatherings have been packed to the gills and it feels wonderful! Sunday has long been my favorite day of the week, but now, I absolutely cannot wait for Sunday to come around. All I can say, in a state of awe, gratefulness, and joy is a huge resounding WOW.

God is just blowing me away with Jonathan and Leslie. I am beyond excited to get to know them more intimately in the months and years to come. One of the coolest get-to-know-you intiatives Jonathan has implemented is opening up his office every Wednesday from 11-2 for whoever wants to come by and chat. I haven't made it over there yet on a Wednesday, but I"ve heard there have been tons of people that have come. I have just been so blessed and full of joy at the ways the Storments have wanted to get to know the hearts and faces of Highland. I adore that they are a couple that seems to be very, very relational.

Since July 2009, when Mike stepped down, I've been fervently contending for the atmosphere of our church, the man of the Lord's choosing to be revealed, protection over our church in the time of transition, and so much more. Well, I am overjoyed to report that my prayers and those of countless others have been answered and then some. Jonathan's preaching is such a breath of fresh air. He is so humble, intensely passionate about the work and Word of the Lord, and so eager to see God glorified and exalted in all things. I strongly believe that Jonathan is anointed to proclaim God's heart and the messages God desires to bring to the attention of His people. God has been so faithful to Highland, and He has just poured out His goodness as He has brought the Storment family to us. Thank you, Father!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Favorite Things Friday...

Today is Friday once again so I thought I'd share my favoite SMELLS with you today:
Lavender is one of my top five favorite smells. I love it so much. In fact, my favorite Glade plug-in scent is Laveder Vaniilla. I also think lavender is beautiful out in nature. I think life would be very sad without the beautiful smell of lavender. This particular smell also makes me feel so clean and refreshed.
Vanilla is my very favorite smell in the world. I love it to pieces. I especially love smelling it in baked goods. My mom makes a delicious dessert that my family devours every time she bakes it. Her Sour Cream Pound Cake has vanilla in it and I love how it smells, but I think I love how the uncooked batter tastes even more! The smell of vanilla just makes me giddy. I thouroughly enjoy this smell during all seasons, but especially during the holidays. It reminds me what home smells like. I guess that is because it is also my mom's favorite scent that she places near the front door. Smelling vanilla is heavenly.
Cinnamon smells delightful to me as well, especially in the fall when temperatures are changing and leaves start turning glorious colors. I adore to wake up and smell cinnamon. I feel warmly hugged when I eat or drink anything with this spice in it. Another thing I really enjoy is Cinnamon toast in the mornings. I could smell cinnamon all day long and be so happy and contented.
I also really enjoy the Bird of Paradise scent from Circle E candles. I could burn that scent around the clock. So there you go. What are some of your favorite smells? I hope your Friday is wonderful.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Oh, Fall, Can You Come Stay Awhile?...

I know that I've shared this little tidbit on the blog before, but Fall, or as some people like to call it, Autumn, is my favorite season of them all. It seems as though all things are right in life during the Fall. High school and college football begins, pumpkin spice lattes are available at 7-11 and Starbucks, fall-scented candles start to dominate the shelves of retail stores, wearing scarves begins to make sense once again, and drinking hot tea becomes appropriate. I say all this to point out once again, that Fall is my absolute favorite. I was made to live in fall. I secretly wish the season could last all year long. I love fall decorations, fall food, fall smells, and fall traditions. Not to mention, it ushers in my birthday month of October, and gets me excited about the festivities of November and December.

The only really big thing that hasn't truly found a permanent place in West Texas is consistent cool and crisp fall temperatures. THAT is when I know my favorite season has decided to come in and stay awhile. But, even though the weather hasn't quite changed yet, and won't really do so until October, my little football-loving heart can rest very happy as I wait out the cooler temperatures. I hope you are helping to usher in the essence of the changing seasons in some fun new ways. Happy Fall everyone!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Always, Sometimes, Never...

My adorable friend, Annalee, did a list on Thursday that got me thinking. She had a fantastic list of items she always does, sometimes does, and never does. This blog post made me want to join in on the fun. Find her post here. I think she is completely wonderful, so please check out her precious blog. So, with no further ado, here is my ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, NEVER list.

1) suck air when I find an item in a store that I just cannot live without. Most of my sucking air ensues when I come across an item covered in my favorite patterns which include paisley, houndstooth, toile, damask, or polka dots.
2)  pray throughout my day
3) watch a little TV during the day
4) love the smell of lavender and vanilla
5) listen to uplifting music, most of the time LOUD when I'm by myself
6) check facebook and my blog list for updates multiple times a day
7) am praying for heaven to come to earth

1) leave too many lights on at night {I DO NOT like darkness}
2) allow movies or series {eg: Gilmore Girls} dominate my time and my day
3) catch myself daydreaming about trips I long to take before I die {Ireland, England again, Prince Edward Island, Savannah, Charleston, Rhode Island, Vermont, Whistler and British Columbia, Canada}
4) yell too loud at football games and regret it later when I become hoarse {that's the price I will gladly pay for living in West Texas and loving high school and college football}
5) pinch myself at having my Mommy as my very best friend {she is fabulous}
6) forget to drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day
7) shake my head at how intensely blessed I am

1) like the sound of silverware clanging together when I put it away or hear it being put away anywhere else {it's my fingernails on a chalkboard thing in life}
2) like to think about being without my family {family is number two on my most important things in life list}
3) can get through a day without being thankful for God's Presence
4) get enough of good-smelling candles
5) get tired of scarves and cold weather
6) can allow my collection of stationery to get low before I add another set to my mix
7)get tired of monograms

What are some of your always, sometimes, and never things in life? May your day be blessed.   

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Lauren's Random Thoughts...

Here are a few radom things that I've been thinking as well as some things that have been on my heart lately:

* I often MARVEL at God's goodness. I love how God brings things out of nowhere, when we are just walking along in everyday life, and WHAM, He sends a blessing. Why are we so astonished when He brings us good things? I want to be a woman who fervently expects God's goodness and love to come my way. Last week, I was contending for something very specific in my family, and by the end of the week, God not only delivered, but gave immeasurably more than I had asked Him for. His goodness is all around us. I desire to live in a way that is fully equipped to enjoy when God decides to spoil me with His goodness, not because He ought to, but simply because He CAN.

* I desire to bring heaven to earth. I am so tired of trying to fit into what human-constructed religion brings me. I want to view every circumstance, every thought, every word, and every single situation in this life through God's eternal perspective. Things of this world are so temorary. I want to invest in things that are eternal. Don't get me wrong. I don't ever want to become a person who cannot relate to earthly realities and situations, I am interested in seeing every thing that happens in life the way God sees it. I desire to be able to relate to people and their needs, so that I can bring the hope, healing, and the joy of Jesus Christ into the life of every person I come into contact with. True freedom resides in a worship that is completely done with man-made religion. I want to be there, but I have so much more to learn. Thankfully, God is working on this area.

That's all folks. I have a lot more going on inside of me, but I will leave you with those thoughts.
I have so much more to learn as I walk the road of becoming more like Christ, but I am immeasurably thankful and full of gratitude for the things that the Lord is teaching me and all of the information that is being downloaded into my inner life. Blessings on your week!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet Summer Getaway...

My family of five plus our best family friends, the Etters, spent Thursday-Monday on a sweet little summer getaway in Ruidoso, NM. The above picture was taken while we were downtown on Monday about to head back home to Abilene. I loved our time away. I spent a majority of my time knitting on the wrap-around back porch while other people spent time in the hot tub. I don't particularly like putting on a bathing suit. Anytime I do, I put a t-shirt over it. We also played Chickenfoot, ate yummy meals at the house we rented, played Phase 10, Uno, the card game, Golf, talked a ton, and made great memories. I loved having my brother and his wife with us.

The boys played golf twice, watched The British Open, and we all watched Lonesome Dove at night after dinner. The middle picture is me with Christin and Carly Etter plus my sweet sister-in-law. I LOVE these precious girls. Truly, they are so fun to be around, and they are three of my favorite people. The top picture is me with what I like to call my 5-family. I absolutely love being with every member of my immediate family, but we aren't all together a lot. Anytime we are, I like to get a family picture taken. Our time in Ruidoso was so fun. I love being surrounded by people I cherish, and this little vacation was full of time with people that fit that description.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hear Ye, Hear Ye...

Allow me, dear blog readers, to indroduce you to a fabulous new online business. Snowbird Design by Ashley Snow can be found here: Ashley is a friend of mine from my Abilene High days. We graduated together in May of 2001. She was Champ, the mascot of AHS during our senior year. She and I have become closer in our days out of high school. Ashley is one very classy and sophisticated designer if I do say so myself, but, be warned, this is my completely biased, humble opinion. She specializes in baby anouncements, invitations, personalized party labels, Christmas card designs, and change-of-address cards that you can send out to your family and friends. Check her out. She's just fabulous!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Choosing Praise...

Sunday I heard a very anointed sermon on how powerfully the Lord moves through us, in us, and for us as believers when we choose praise instead of dwelling on the seemingly never-ending parade of problems that are found in this world. I was very convicted to say the least. I've always held to the belief that praise holds untold amounts of power, but this week, Jerry Taylor helped me to re-examine my alleigiance to its truth. The Spirit used him to help me clean out the trash of worldly influences over my mind and to put fresh relevence on what this truly means. He fleshed it out and helped me to cling to it with ever-more deepening fervency. Here is how the Holy Spirit rephrased his thought as it swirled around in my consciousness and found a solidified and very personal, permanent place in my spirit and heart:

"Lauren, steward yourself in gratitude and thankfulness. Allow Me to fill you with an increasing joy that is fully fueled by the promise that choosing praise instead of dwelling on the never-ending parade of problems of this age is far more powerful in the life of a believer. Futhermore, fervent praise instead of selfish and incessent worry moves God's heart to rescue, redeem, and restore to its fullest measure."

As the Holy Spirit penned this upon my spirit, I was overwhelmed by the power of this thought. Can you imagine this thought being put into action? The world we live in would change in ways that are impossible for man to comprehend. I love that we serve a God that specializes in bringing about things that seem impossible in our finite minds, but are completely accessible and possible by His power and creativity. I want to rely on His creativity, power, and what stirs His heart with a white-hot passion and abandon to my own ways of thinking and doing. I love that God does not have our mind or our flawed methods of thinking or reasoning. I desperately want to allow the Holy Spirit to dictate how I spend my time and my money, I want Him to author and ordain the pursuits of my mind, and I want Him to continually reveal His secrets to me. I desire to be teachable. I don't ever want to be finished being His student. God speaks softly, yet powerfully through and in a life that is surrendered upon the altar of His teaching and a believer that is fully given to His callings is sure to be part of an unforgettable adventure full of rich rewards, fulfilled dreams, and untold blessings that await those who don't want to miss what God is bringing to those who diligently seek to know Him, His character, His precepts, and the ways he moves, that quite honesly, in my very humble opintion, put anything of this world to complete and utter shame.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Movies Galore...

I started last weekend a little earlier than usual. It is my custom to pack and ready myself for time at my parents' house on Friday morning or afternoon. My mom called late Thursday afternoon and asked if I might enjoy an extra night at their house, and I never turn that down. I am treated like royalty when I'm with them. My mom and dad are two of the most generous people I know on the planet. Well, we knew it was going to be a great 3-day weekend for my mom and I and a great 4-day weekend for my dad. July 4th is always fun and festive. Plus, in myh family we love to celebrate any occasion. There were several movies out that we wanted to see, so it was decided that a majority of the holiday weekend would be spent at the movies. All together we saw three movies at the theatre. My mom also slipped Eclipse in on Monday afternoon. Here is a rundown on all the movies we saw last weekend:We started the movie festivities off with Toy Story 3. It was my favorite of the trilogy, but be warned it does have some moments during the show that I thought might be a little graphic and on the major scary side for young viewers. My 3-year-old cousin would've bawled her little eyes out. The Betsy-Wetsie doll reminded me and mom of Chucky. She was really big, had scary flashing eyes, and was sent to scare the toys into submission. There is also a bear in the movie that pretends to be loving and happy-go-lucky, but turns out to be scary and vindictive. Ken and Barbie were absolutely hilarious though. They were two of my favorite characters in the film. Another favoite was Mrs. Potato Head and Buzz when he played his alter ego - so funny! I think it is worth seeing. Anything Pixar puts out is good in my opinion.The next stop on the movie train was Robin Hood. It was so good. Everyone in our family loved it. If you haven't seen it please go. I love anything set in Medieval times. I happen to really enjoy that paricular time in history, although, I am thankful I was created and chosen to live in the 20th and 21st centuries in many ways. I love knights and ladies, castles, banquets, the costumes of the time, and the customs. Seeing beautiful parts of England and France in that time period wasn't bad either. I LOVE England. I love its sense of tradition, its centuries-old architecture, and the rich and vibrant sense of history of the country. I could live in England. Cate Blanchett did a wonderful job playing Maiden Marian, too. It took me the entire movie to relize who the actress was. At the end after the credits rolled past her name I thought, "THAT'S who that was." All in all, Robin Hood was so worth seeing. The third adventure we took was a trip to Beijing as we watched Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, and Taraji P. Henson in Karate Kid. I loved it. Except watching kids who were taught Kung Foo in a horrible violent way. Mr Hahn, (Jackie Chan) taught Dre (Smith) how Kung Foo was used as an ancient way to earn respect and to learn to defend yourself in a non-volent, honorable manner. I really enjoyed this film. The cinematography and scenery was absolutely gorgeous. Beijing is a beautiful city and China as a whole is a gorgeous country. It is well worth the money and time to check out. I also really liked what I read before the movie about the Smiths doing this a family project. Will was a producer, Jada went along too, and I don't think Willow would have been left behind in the action. I have liked all the movies I've seen Jaden in. I think he's a really good actor for a twelve-year-old boy, and he seems very grounded, like his parents. I really respect actors who don't allow Hollywood to sway their love and commitment to goodness, family values, and wholesomeness. Will, Jada, and Jaden seem to have their heads on straight.

My movie-saturated weekend ended on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, my cousin Dailey took me to the newest branch of the Abilene Public Library which I adored. Have I ever mentioned that I love books, and that this is a clean and very inviting place to hunker down with a good read or to check out DVDs? I updated my information and got a new library card that I am so excited to put to good use in the near future. We both slowly perused the DVD section, and, with our mutual love of old movies, decided to check out Some Like it Hot. I had never seen it. This movie is so hilarious. Plus, I don't think I had ever seen Marilyn Monroe perform as an actress. Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis were the male leads in the movie. I loved it. As we pulled away from the library, it was decided that a trip to Hobby Lobby and Sonic were in order. I needed some cranberry yarn for a scarf I'm working on and we both were sweating, so a nice cool Route 44 Lemon Berry Slush and Diet Coke were just the thing we needed as sustenance.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of Movie Weekend 2010! I am now going to go enjoy the rain, watching Road to Avonlea on DVD, and some delicious chocolate. Toota Loo! ;)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just Living Life...

To be completely honest, there has not been anything going on in my world that I've felt compelled to write about. I guess one could say that I've been suffering from a case of "blogger's block." My main goal throughout the month of June has been not to die of dehydration or heat stroke. We've had our share of rain for which I've been very thankful. There is just SOMETHING about Texas heat though. The Texas heat is why I bide my time until fall and winter. I wish someone I was close to had a pool that I could flop myself into on hot unbearable summer days.

One thing that is SUPER exciting is that my family and I met Highland's new preacher. Oh my goodness. I cannot wait until August. As we walked up to introduce ourselves, he said, " Hi, you are the Cunninghams, right?" My mom said, "You've been studying the church directory haven't you?" His answer was yes. Jonathan and Leslie are very precious people. Highland is in for such an amazing blessing. Thank you, God.

That's all from my little piece of blogland. Blessings to you.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Holy Encounter...

I have always been fascinated by angels. Last night was no exception. Highland hosted its annual monthly instrumenal praise service. I love these nights. If you are new to this blog, worship is one of my passions. As I was lost in God's Presence during a couple songs, I felt a strong knowing that I just couldn't shake. I asked the Lord what He was up to and he said, "Look, Lauren, you're entertaining the presence of one of my heavenly angels." The man was sitting right in front of my daddy and I couldn't get enough of him. I kept my hand where he was residing the entire night it seemed. I have contemplated this angel all day today as well. I want to be so lost in the likeness of Jesus that His angelic messengers and beings befriend me, protect me, and come to just be with me in His Presence. It was a feeling I'll never forget. As soon as I knew an angelic presence was being manifested, I quickly put my angel training taught by Amy Black to good use. I slowly swept my less dominant arm, in my case, it is the left, and did that until I felt a cool presence and knew that an angel was indeed in my midst. I've wondered today what kind of angel he was. I think its going to take time for God to reveal that to me. Anyway, I was enthralled and so I'm so eager to entertain more. Angels showcase God's intention and showcase His joy and His care for His kids. I adore them. I want to be inhabited by them. I want to love them with everything I have and I want to heed whatever messages they bring me. Bless you Mr. Angel, please grace me with your presence again soon. Bless you and your ministry.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Favorite Things Friday...

Places I Dream of Visiting Soon...The International House of Prayer (IHOP) Kansas City -
This is a very, very, very dear place in my life. I haven't had the blessing of experiencing it yet, but I pray about going soon every single day. Many a dream has been authored by me and the Lord for the plans He has for me in this place when He and I are both ready. I can't wait to go to Kansas City Mossouri and walk through these doors. There is such a powerful and tangible sense of the Presence of the Lord that resides here. I have prayed many times to take part in a school sometime soon. IHOP, you are loved, treasured, and dreamed of often. I WILL get to Kansas City.
Bethel Church - Redding, CA
This is the home of my beloved Bill Johnson. God has used Bill, Beni, Kris, and Danny to make me want to pursue higher things of God in a new depth. It is my prayer that Highland can assume the culture that this church embodies. I have learned volumes about miracles, honor, prayer, and walking in signs and wonders in this hour in our world. Bethel has so many ways to be equipped and prepared to fight the good figt and see enormous victories in the process. Bill has taught me how important it is to be mentored and in community with others - believers and those who are not yet. I cannot say enough good about this beautiful and sanctified place. Redding is drempt of every day as well.
Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship - Toronto, Canada

This is another one of my beloved churches. I have learned so much about the Father heart of God in this place. John and Carol Arnott are the senior pastors here. This is another place that I've prayed about visiting. Another wonderful violinist that attends TACF is someone I could listen to 24 hours a day, Ruth Fazal. There are so many prophetic leaders in this church family. I'm thankful I have this place to learn from and go deeper in Jesus. My friends Amy, Latimer, and so many others have brought back unspeakbly rich things as a result of being in the Lord's Presence with this group of believers.


I have longed and yearned to go to this most holy and sacred country for so long now. I have dreamed about the holy encounters I would experiece as I witnessed baptisms in the Jordan River. I have traveled down the streets of Jerusalem in my dreams professing the Name of Jesus. I want to take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. I want to go to Galgatha and experience what torturous last moments Jesus went through. I want to see Jerusalem form the top of Mount Zion. I want to say that I traveled the roads of Jerusalem and experienced the Presence of the Lamb in that most treasured Kingdom city. It holds such a cherished place in my spirit. I want to see the stable where Jesus was born in Nazareth. I want to say that I've seen the empty tomb in physical form. So, so many memories are waiting for me in this hallowed place.

Thank you for sharing in this little piece of my future and dreams with the Lord. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Exciting Stuff is Brewing...

Oh, my! I am ecstatic right now. Life is going right along, I am learning some rich and lasting truths about my Jesus, and my church is in for such an unbelievable change. God is just rocking my world and it is so, so, so wonderful that He is. Change is a beautiful thing. It's hard, don't get me wrong, but it is amazing to behold. God is just the most wonderful partner and anchor that there is in this world. I couldn't do change if He wasn't in control of every single thing in this life.

First of all, Jonathan, Leslie, Eden, and Samuel Storment are on their way to Abilene. I truly couldn't be anymore excited about them as a couple and as a family than I already am. The Cunninghams are so ready to meet the Storments. They will be in town on June 9th for a welcoming reception and you better believe I'll be in line to hug, encourage, and meet all of them. Our church body has been in a process of discernment and vigilant prayer for 9 months and we are so very excited about the family the Lord has sent to us. I would ask that you would pray for the Storment family as they transition to Abilene from Richland Hills and Fort Worth. Jonathan's first sermon is scheduled for August 22nd. August cannot get here fast enough for me to be completely honest.

Secondly, Randy Harris is such a beautiful proclaimer of the Word. Our church family is so blessed to have him as a teacher, preacher, a former of disciples, and an example of recklessly following God at all costs. He has really redefined some things for me this year. I love how he presents age-old truth in such a fresh and relevent way. The Church of Christ monk is beloved to us. Thank you, Father, for using your servant Randy to form people who cling to your truth and try to live in a way that points others to eternity.

I have prayed so hard for our future as a church, as I know many others in our body have. I am overwhelmed at how God chooses to equip who He sanctions as His leaders. My daddy has known for weeks who would assume the Preaching Minsistry position. He just had to keep it quiet. That drove me absolutely crazy. The week Jonathan was named as that candidate, God gave me a name and I began to pray. I was overjoyed to find out that it indeed was Jonathan Storment. I've heard absolutely wonderful and such life-giving things about him as a man and as a leader. You can know this for sure, Highland is in for an abundance of good things. I will be vigilant in my prayers for him and his precious family. I can't wait to see what blessings are in store as we as a church go further with God into our destiny in Abilene and the world.

Bless you this day, dear reader.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tour De Fabrics...

Today I want to take you readers through a tour of my favorite patterns. I will save my very favorite until last. I am a person who happens to adore pattern. I think they add so much wonderful personality and fun to life. Here we go:

Toile - I love this pattern because it is rich and it often tells a story. Whenever I run across this favorite I catch myself wanting to ask the figures in the pattern about their lives. I also love the informal nature of this pattern. Toile just seems so comfy and cozy in my mind. There are also little toile touches in my home, so that is another reason why its a favorite of mine.

Polka-dots - I love this pattern because it is so cheery. Polka-dots seems to give me a boost in life. This pattern is just tons of fun in my book. Another reason I love them is because they are so festive and celebratory. This pattern brings a smile to my face every single time. Who knew polka-dots could add so much to life? Damask - I think this pattern is so classy all the way around. It makes me feel so luxurious. I also happen to think this pattern is just lovely to look at and take in. It adds so much sophistication to life. It says opulent to me.
Houndstooth - This, my dear readers, is my absolute favorite pattern of them all. Houndstooth brings such joy to my life. In my book, it is the classiest and most sophisticated of all the patterns. I gravitate toward this pattern, no matter the article. It could be on clothing, stationery, fabric - whatever. I love it to pieces. And oddly enough, the only two things I own that are houndstooth are a stationery set and a most beloved scarf.

I hope this tour into some of my favorite things has been a delightful little glimpse into what makes me who I am.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roadtrip to the Flatlands...

I had a very wonderful weekend. The first ingredient to this superb weekend was a trip to this delectable place:

This is my very, very, very favorite pizza resturaunt in Abilene by far. You would not believe my excitement when Mom suggested this delicious place. My regular here is a medium Canadian Bacon pizza. So, so good. Come to Abilene and try it. I dare you.

On Sunday Mom and I went on a roadtrip to Lubbock. We also got to see some family which in my book is always wonderful. Here is one of our stops while there:

I had never been to this fabulous place before, but, let me tell you, I WILL be back. I adored the sandwich, side dish, and drink I got. I ordered the Havari Chicken Panini and it was out of this world. If you have a McAlister's in your area, go. It is some fine eatin'. I think it's better than Json's Deli. Don't tell them I said so.

The next stop for Mom, Grant, and I was this fine establishment: Mom and I think Stein Mart is the best store ever and we desperately miss the Abilene affiliate. They closed the Abilene store about a year ago. It was a very sad day for both of us. More than half of Mom's wardrobe came from this sublime store. Anytime we see one in bigger cities, stopping is a must.

The last stop in our fast and furious Lubbock tour was this insanely fabulous store:

I heart Target to its very core. I could get so lost in this store entirely too easily. When I saw that Lubbock had a Super Target, my shopping appeties were whetted for sure. :) Mom constantly made me focus and stay on course. I didn't even go look at the clothes because I knew that if I did, I would be sucked into the never-ending, always beckoning vortex of more stylish and up-to-date attire. The scarves and completely adorable stationery already had thier claws in me. I was on the hunt for a copy of The Blind Side which I haven't been able to get my hands on in my fair city. Good things come to those who wait, right?!?!

So as you can see my Sunday was busy and very fulfilling. My tour of Lubbock was very enjoyable even if I didn't come home with any purchases of my own. The time with my Mom was so good. There is something wonderful about any time with her, especially on roadtrips. It seems that God carves out special sacred time to converse, and love on each other. I couldn't do life without my mom.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fun With the Heflins...

I spent Friday evening with the completely adorable and lovely Heflin girls--Houston and Karen were there too. I LOVE these precious little ladies so so much. Boy was my Friday made by spending time with this precious family. I finally got to meet and hold Gable Elizabeth for the first time too. We ate a delicious dinner prepared by Karen of Chicken Salad sandwiches, beautiful and tasty fruit salad, pretzels, and Fritos. My kind of meal! So simple, and the time was so sacred to me. I loved watching Houston and Karen play with their girls, parent them, help form sweet sweet manners, and love them to pieces. This family is such a beautiful model of what I hope mine will look like someday. In case you haven't figured it out, I think the Heflins are utterly fabulous.
We read stories, enjoyed a dance presentation to the Sound of Music by Matalee, Emery, and Haven, took pictures, ate a wonderful apple cobbler, and so much more. My favorite part of the evening was when I had the privilege of anointing Gable and praying over her. Matalee, Emery, and Haven were full of questions about which I loved. Houston did such a great job explaining the whole concept. After I prayed, Karen read the story of Soloman anointing David in 2 Samuel 16. {I think that is where the story is found, not positive though}. It was so much fun for me all around. I hope you have people in your life that make it fun, vibrant, real, and worthwhile. The Heflins are definitely some of my favorite people.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Afternoon in the Bluebonnets...

On Tuesday afternoon, my friend Becky H took me out to a field of bluebonnets on 277 because she just wanted me to see it. Luckily, I had been encouraged to bring my camera. It was absolutely gorgeous. Here is the proof. I'm squinting in all of them because it was really sunny, but I love them all.

I cannot figure out why my computer put the pictures in such funny places, but I think I've included the best pictures. I hope you can spend some time admiring and taking in God's beauty through His splashes of color. I love Spring for so many reasons, but I think my favorite is that my obsession with the loveliness of flowers is revisited and deepened.

Monday, April 12, 2010

An HEB Getaway...

Every Spring and Fall, the Highland family is invited down to the Texas Hill Country for a fabulous 3 day fun-filled weekend at the H.E.B. Foundation Camp in Leakey Texas. My family, friends, and I love to partake of this wonderful biannual experience. I've gone to HEB Camp since I was in 4th grade. I love it. This weekend was no exception. Here are some glimpses of the fun we had: There were LOTS of games of my favorite Chickenfoot on the fabulous large wrap-around porch of the dining hall. Great memories...

Blogger is being stupid and won't bring the first picture down. The fabulous women in the first picture are my good friends and served as my cabin mates along with some men also this weekend. We had some great laughs, times of talking, knitting, drinking Diet Coke, and watching the river. It was so much fun.Below my cabin mates are my precious precious adoptive brother and sister Christin and Chase on the back porch of our cabin. These two sweet friends are such rich blessings in my daily life. Christin belongs to our best family friends Greg and Tina Etter and Chase is her fabulous boyfriend. Love them and the times we have.

These little beauties were scattered everywhere throughout the Hill Country. I love spring, because that means flowers, flowers, and more flowers. Seeing fields covered in dark blue were just the sight I needed to end a glorious weekend with my church family. HEB Camp holds such a sweet cherished place in my childhood and in my heart now. It is a wonderful place for families to come and have fun, connect with others, and enjoy God's masterful creation. I hope your weekend was great as well.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wow, How Blessed I Am...

Recently, God has just poured so many rich blessings into my journey with Him. Today, I enjoyed a two-hour lunch date with one of my most cherished and influential mentors. In addition to the blessing of spending that sacred time, I ran into two of my very close friends Sylvia and McKinley. I just adore how God weaves friends into the fabric of our daily activities. :) There have also been so many of my friends who have welcomed new babies into their lives. I still need to schedule time to love on them. I have had some really good time with the Lord too. I have just had a fabulous time in life recently. I love when new friends come into my life. God has been so sweet to author new relationships in my community right now.

Easter 2010 was utterly GLORIOUS in my book. One of my very favorite preaching vesels, Jerry Taylor brought such a powerful and timely message about boldness and the power that resides in us through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was good for my soul. Highland hosted a gathering before service on Easter Sunday so that people could hug, encourage each other, and engage in fellowship that was wonderful. I love fellowship, encouragement, and hugs. Monday night at soaking we listened to one of my all-time favorite prophetic voices, Graham Cooke's Rise Up, Warrior. Talk about anointed. Oh, my glory! It brought fire and deep expectancy into my entire being. I was so refreshed and recommisioned. It was a fantastic time of quiet. I hope your Thursday is greatly blessed.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Basketball Blitz and Blessings...

I love college basketball. I also love Baylor University. I think you can see where this is going. I spent a good portion of my weekend watching some great March Madness match-ups in Memphis and in St. Louis, and in Houston. I watched all these fabulous games on ESPN and CBS Sports from the comfort of my parents couch though. :) My Nana and Pa are season ticket holders to all of the Baylor Lady Bears basketball games. They are die-hard, green and gold blooded Bear fans.

Here is another one of my favorite college basketball teams, Duke University. You can imagine how excited I was to know that my two favorite college teams were facing each other. It did make the cheering a bit challenging though. Here is my rule for such instances as I found myself in yesterday: If there is a Texas team playing, all my allegiance goes to that team, so Baylor had my heart yesterday. Udo, Acey, and Carter played really well last night. I was proud of my Bears even though they lost to those Blue Devils from Raliegh-Durham.

Here is where the blessings were poured on my weekend. I met my absolutely adorable and completely fabulous friend Sylvia for dinner at Schlotsky's on Saturday night before going to a praise night at Highland. This lovely lady is such a treasure in my community of friends. I am so thankful for the immeasurable gift she is in my life. It was so good to catch up on life and just sit in her presence and allow the Lord to minister to my spirit. I know she will be a forever-friend, wherever she ends up in the coming days, months, and years. She is good for my soul! Sylvia just makes me a better person all around. She is a great friend, listener, encourager, and blessing. Love you, ST. :)

I hope your weekend was full of fun and brimming with blessings.

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Friends in Real Life...

I met the fabulous female partner of this fabulous godly McCord marraige covenant in February at her son Graham's Sip N See. I cannot tell you how precious this couple is to me. I haven't had the blessing of meeting Evan yet, but I am anxiously awaiting the day I will get to partake of that gift from the Lord. I just know Evan has to be such a blast and such a wonderful godly man if he is married to the lovely Annalee, mother of adorable 2 year old Adelaide.I adore the McCords. I also know Grammy Sherri and Grandpa Lynn. This is truly a most wonderful family. I count myself blessed beyond measure to know them. God is honored by their lives.

I met this precious two year old, whom I refer to in my heart as Adelaider Kater. Her given name is Adelaide Kate McCord or she is beloved and well-known as akm as well. She belongs to my adorable and completely and utterly fabulous friend, Annalee.
Wow, has my life been so sweetly blessed by forging new friendships with people I've known quite awhile through the blogosphere. I am so thankful to have met these precious friends through real-life happenings. This week while shopping My Sister's House Consignment boutique in downtown Abilene, I met my very cherished friend, Jenny Thompson and her fabulous husband Chris in real flesh and blood. They were both such precious people. I have prayed for a very long time that God would orchestrate a meeting for Jenny and I in some special way. The Thompsons were making a very quick stop in Abilene and came by the grand opening of My Sister's House to say hello to their cousins who are the proprieters of the boutique. You can find out more about My Sister's House by clicking on the link in my 'Blogs & Websites I Love' list on the left.
As you can see, I am blessed beyond measure to now know these precious Kingdom-shaped people in flesh and blood now. I've loved them for a very, very long time. God is just the best at bringing friends together. I hope you have time to thank Him for the community that surrounds your life today.